Correction of hypokyphosis in thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using sublaminar bands: a 3D multicenter study
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The comparison of implants and correction methods remain controversial in AIS. Excellent frontal and axial correction rates have been reported with all-screw constructs, but at the expense of sagittal alignment, which has a tendency to flatten postoperatively. Posteromedial translation using hybrid constructs seems to preserve and improve thoracic kyphosis (TK), but no series exist to date with a significant number of hypokyphotic patients. In addition, the measures of TK in 2D are often wrong in severe AIS due to axial rotation. The goals of this study were therefore to analyze the 3D radiological outcomes of a group of hypokyphotic AIS patients operated with sublaminar bands.
35 consecutive AIS hypokyphotic patients (T4T12 <15°) operated in three centers were included, with a minimum 2-year follow-up. The surgical technique was similar in all centers, associating lumbar pedicle screws and thoracic sublaminar bands. Posteromedial translation was the main correction technique, and no patient underwent prior anterior release. 3D spinal reconstructions were performed preoperatively, postoperatively and at the latest follow-up by an independent observer using SterEOS (EOS imaging, Paris, France), and 2D and 3D measurements were compared. In addition, a new 3D parameter [sagittal shift of the apical vertebra (SSAV)], reflecting the translation of the apical vertebra of the main curve in the patient sagittal plane, was described and reported.
The age of the cohort was 16 years and the number of sublaminar bands used for correction averaged 6 (±1.5). T1T12 and T4T12 sagittal Cobb angles appeared to be overestimated on 2D postoperatively (3°, p = 0.002 and 4°, p < 0.001, respectively). Hence, only 3D measurements were kept for the quantitative analysis of the postoperative correction. T4T12 TK significantly increased after surgery (average 8° ± 7°, p < 0.001), but 11 patients (31.4%) remained hypokyphotic. Seven out of the eight patients (87.5%) who presented a thoracic lordosis (i.e., T4T12 <0°) preoperatively were corrected after surgery (mean gain 16° ± 4°). A posterior shift (positive SSAV) of the apical vertebra was reported in 24 patients (68.6%). In this subgroup, the mean SSAV was +2 cm (±1). Good correlation was found between the SSAV and the postoperative change in 3D T4T12 kyphosis (r = 0.62).
Measures in 2D tend to overestimate sagittal alignment and are not sufficient to evaluate postoperative correction. SSAV is a new 3D parameter reflecting the TK change that needs to be further investigated and used in the future. This series confirms that sublaminar bands should be considered in hypokyphotic patients, since thoracic sagittal alignment was restored in 68.6% of the cases.
KeywordsAdolescent idiopathic scoliosis Hypokyphosis Sagittal alignment Stereoradiography 3D analysis
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Brice Ilharreborde, Keyvan Mazda and Jerôme Sales de Gauzy have received consultancy fees (unrelated to this study) from Implanet (Implanet, Bordeaux, France).
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